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Designed for Success, Part 1

By: Annet King
Posted: June 23, 2008, from the May 2006 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

Suppose you’re sitting in an empty room in your skin treatment center, in your spa or at home. The fact of the matter is—the room is not really empty. Even a seemingly vacant, still room is boiling over with energy and molecular interactions.

If you’re a student of feng shui, these interactions may be understood by considering the north/south/east/west position; when the structure was built; and the presence of certain materials, such as wood, metal and water, as well as many other factors. Even if this is not within your frame of reference, the dimensions and design of a room, as well as color, light, noise level and a myriad of other sensory variables, all contribute profoundly to how you feel when you’re in the space. Realizing that every aspect of a room—perhaps even the unseen ones—shapes its “personality” is the first essential step toward creating a productive, effective skin care center or spa.

Take the spa challenge

Most businesses require the creation and maintenance of a consistent professional aura. A financial planner’s office environment, for example, must convey order, control and trust. A relentlessly hip dress studio needs to ensure that its racks are draped with the most coveted frocks on the planet, setting trends at the speed of a mouse click. In other words, most businesses have a single branding mission, and they focus on carrying it out consistently for maximum success.

By contrast, a spa faces a very different challenge because the environment is not generally one-dimensional, such as the previous examples. Typically, you must design two very different areas within a spa business—a treatment environment and a retail environment. These consist of two radically different experiences under a single roof. Too often, spas concentrate only on creating relaxation, which is only half of the equation. The other half that generally is missing is a strong emphasis on sales.

A treatment area is all about nurturing the client. The qualities that commonly are associated with this experience include the following.